Sustainable Fishing Practices Could Recover 77% of the World’s Fisheries Within a Decade

March 30, 2016 | Johannes Van Zijl

School of fish

There is much needed hope for our oceans!

new study offers a glimmer of hope for the world’s oceans and suggests that 77 percent of the world’s fisheries could recover to a healthy state in just 10 years if sustainable fishing practices were established around the globe.

Many fish populations, including mackerel and tuna, have been in major decline since the 1970s, with some reports suggesting a 74 percent decline between 1970 and 2010 in the population of certain species. The recent study suggested that if corrective action is implemented with sustainable fishing practices, by the year 2050, the global fish populations could double again, which would also result in a 204 percent profit increase for fishermen around the world.

SEE ALSO: There Could be More Plastic than Fish in the Oceans by 2050

“There’s a really positive story right around the corner,” Amanda Leland, senior vice president for oceans at the Environmental Defence Fund and a co-author of the study, told the Huffington Post. “It would be very hard to find another global, significant environmental challenge that could be solved so quickly.”

The team of researchers from the Environmental Defence fund, the University of Washington and the University of California, Santa Barbara analysed data from 4713 fisheries worldwide, which represented 78 percent of the total fish caught annually around the world. They found that only one third of all the fish caught each year were in good biological shape.

“To no surprise, they found that business as usual would result in a ‘continued collapse for many of the world’s fisheries,’” the Huffington Post reported. “Sustainable management reforms, however, including science-based catch limits, could generate yearly increases of more than 16 million metric tons of seafood, with annual profits of $53 billion, according to the research.”

“We no longer need to see ocean fisheries as a series of trade-offs,” Lead author of the study, Chris Costello told The Huffington Post.

“In fact, we show that we can have more fish in the water, more food on the plate, and more prosperous fishing communities — and it can happen relatively quickly.”

This study has provided some relatively good news in a stream of saddening news about the state of our oceans in recent times, now let’s hope with the implementation of better fishing practices around the world, we might see the results of these findings in the coming future.

The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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